Cafe Conversations | Cannot See The Problem, For The Problems? …Part 1

Forest Image via Maestronews


       Same question as the obvious one.  Can’t see the forest for the trees!   Are we not able to get a hold on the real problems because we cannot see through or around the problem itself?  Are we able to recognize any problem?  As our nation attempts to rid itself of this long recession, my concerns are many.  Answers are few!  Can we climb our way out of this quagmire of debt and joblessness?  Is there a path clearly visible to those decision makers?  Or, are we so burdened with political carelessness, that we cannot or will not find a true course?      (1.)   What would be your choice for a true course?    Please Share Your Thoughts.

~ * ~ 

        I am not particularly political and I am not taking a side.   Just voicing my observations.   As I listen to those supposedly intelligent beings not involved in politics, I hear plausible solutions that have a greater likelihood of succeeding than our current course.  I am completely perplexed by our nations leadership not seeing what others see.  The political machine sees the solution as 10 times more complicated than it should be. Thus the forest, trees scenario!  In a nutshell, it can be described as a person from Ohio wanting to drive to New York.  He is given a route with these driving instructions:  Drive to Africa, turn south across the Antarctic and veer right to dog sled over the Alps.   Sounds a bit like  an tongue in cheek Allstate Insurance Commercial.  (2.)        Should we expect an obvious course of action? 

       Our elected officials choose to solve problems with their “version of a solution” rather than intelligent, logical and fair-minded solutions that would benefit all Americans not just the top 2%?    The “driving route” situation described it well.  I am not sure they even understand that another, more logical solution will suffice.   A prime example is the Banking/Mortgage fiasco.  Quick  version:  Banks made loans for personal and business, all the while knowing that most would fail.  Crazy interest, ballooning rates.  The “Banks” made money on these loans from investors and stock margins with bonuses galore.  I’m talking $1o’s of millions in bonuses.  All was well with the world.      (3.)  What would have been a better version?

~ * ~

      This has gone on for many years.  CNBC presented a great documentary on this as I offer a very condensed version. Also, PBS has an older program on derivatives that is extremely compelling. You may wish to check these out to learn more.  This scandalous business behavior has damaged our nation to a degree of which, we have  not seen in over 70 years.  The final blow came as Secretary of Treasury Henry Paulsen stated (I paraphrase here) the people who purchased homes were to blame,  as they took out mortgages they could not afford.  No politician stood up, as his elected position should require and shot back”  Are you kidding?”   Much finger-pointing ensued.  Name calling and feelings were hurt.  Much like a middle school dance party.  With blame all around,  everyone in Washington is responsible for what came after.  The lending institutions received  100’s of Billions of dollars, that’s 9 zeros, of our money.  The banking/financial industry struck back with bonuses for their CEO’s and employees. All right!   Every good citizen pays for these decisions.  And they continue doing it again with the government’s blessing.  Enough!  (4.)  Politicians should have said…? 

       In my small town, I see the injustice that has gone on and continues to proceed at full speed.  The Home Mortgage “help” has only truly been of benefit to a fraction of those the HAMP  or MHA program was intended.  Example:  Over 4 million home owners and still counting, were to be helped by the HAMP  or MHA program so says the President’s plan.  To date less than 900,000 have been truly helped*.  Now that means that the program is less than 25% efficient.  So, it is like having an employee that was only doing 25% of their job?  Would a business retain that employee?  As a business, would you continue with a program that is 25 % effective?  Apparently we do as a nation.  (5.) Does the American citizen understand what this is and why should they care? 

        Bob of    had a very nice experience with the WordPress Support Staff recently.  So… I asked my fellow blogger if he thought perhaps the WordPress Happiness Engineers could help the U.S. economy with some of their problems as WordPress employs pretty intelligent people who know how to solve a problem? A bit tongue in cheek, yes.  But, if we in the  WordPress blogosphere can rely on those resolution experts for our crazy and sometimes off the wall requests, why can’t we as a nation enlist such a **group of individuals** to assist us rather than those with only their personal political agendas?  Just asking!

Is this an idea worth pursuing?  What would be your solution?  (Please be kind!)

*Explanations of the fraud in Mortgage Modification is rampant and will be for another time.

**Not really the nice folk at WP, but you get the idea that we need someone neutral to make a few changes. Right? 


Cafe Conversations | Feel Good Fridays……Do I Dare Add “Fillers” to My Meatloaf

Meatloaf!  It’s what’s for dinner tonight.


No!     Not.. that .. Meatloaf.   

                        This Meatloaf Silly!                     


       It is definitely a day for Meatloaf.  Yeah, good old comfort food man!  Snow, Cold, Crummy and I am not leaving the house! Oh, crap! I  have a hair appt.  Well, I will  survive.  And,    Won’t I look especially well coiffed while assembling my meatloaf!
+ – +

         What!   The morning news is reporting…. Taco Bell is being sued for not using enough meat in their meat tacos and burritos.  Say it isn’t so?     The Montgomery Alabama law firm  Beasley Allen,  claims the beef mixture that Taco Bell uses is a concoction containing unlisted additional fillers.  Such as oat, wheat and soy products.  The suit also claims that the bulk of the meat product is filler with only 35% meat.  Shocking  News!?

Taco Bell Nachos

        Ya, know, I’m thinking,  what do we really expect for 89 cents?  And, this company employs  the local young folk.  ie:  local teens.   If you like Taco Bell, you probably do not have a problem with the meat issue.  If you want tenderloin for your 89 cents, you live in an alternate reality.  When it is   2 am  and you need food after drinks with friends, it is darn tasty.

        So, now back to my Meatloaf?  Well hell!  Now I am really worried.  I use oatmeal or bread in my extra tasty Meatloaf recipe as well as my Spicy Meatballs.  What am I to do?   I have always added filler to my meatloaf.  You too, right?      Even according to Mario Batali, one  must have almost equal amounts of bread (or something) to meat.  I am not of that opinion!   So Mario prefers 50/50 mixture.  So, just maybe, Mario needs to hideout as well until this all blows over!  They may be after him next!

           I’m risking it!    I am forging ahead with home made bread crumbs.  Damn the Lawyers!   Full steam ahead mateys!!    Here’s the plan!  

        Turn off the lights…draw the curtains….be very, very quiet and wear my ” no one will recognize me disguise.”   No one will ever know.


My Disguise via ro500


                WHAT WAS THAT?   Did you hear it?       Shhhhh!………I think the “Filler Police Are Here!”
***Photos courtesy Good Housekeeping 


Cafe Conversations | Sunshine, Beach and James Blunt Music

New Music from James Blunt       The video is his single    Stay The Night.        Some Kind of Trouble, James Blunt

New Album   Some Kind of Trouble     sounds promising.    Give a Listen and hopefully you will Smile!

Rehab For Milly… No!

It was the  week before Christmas.  All was quiet in my humble abode.  Having settled in for the last-minute  scurry of holiday magic.  That was the week little Milly came to live with me.  Having been a resident of a nearby state, living in student housing  with a number of burgeoning future sports stars.    3  months of a so-called education, strange games of sport and beer pong tournaments seemed more than she could possibly endure.  Sadly, all the fun and games have come to an end.  Milly now lives with me. 

 Settling in was pretty easy in the beginning.  Milly was getting used to the new place.  It was about 3 days later that I began to notice the first symptoms.  I was not sure what I was witnessing.  Severe trembling.  I thought she was just cold.  Eating very little to nothing at all.  I attributed to moving and the new digs.  The trembling became constant.  She would tremble and shake so much that the little jingle bell on her collar would jingle  all the while.  Milly certainly needs my help. I began an investigation.  CSI:  Cat Surveillance & Investigations.   I asked my daughter to find more about how Milly’s life at the student house might influence her behavior.  I soon found that Milly drank alcoholic beverages whenever she wanted.  Drinking from any glass or container she found.  Most disturbing of all she had become a regular user of pot. No she did not smoke it.  She would eat it.   Crazy!  Well, didn’t this knowledge  just bring it all together.  She is going through withdrawal!




The problem here is that Milly is a 4 month old kitten.  Milly had full run of the house filled with college students.  Allowed to do whatever over those months.  Apparently, one of the girls thought it would be fun to have a tiny kitten as a pet.  It was a nice thought but these students are very driven in their education and  their sport.  In turn, they party  the same way.  After a while owning a kitten was no longer fun.  i believe she became more of a nuisance at that point.   The kitten ate whatever was left around and drank whatever assortment of alcoholic beverages were available.  Usually in greater  abundance on weekends.   I became upset when I was told that one of the students shared her stash of pot, pretty much on a daily basis, with the kitty.  And wasn’t it fun to watch a kitten go through the strange torture of ingesting drugs and alcohol!    Some people are not capable of taking care of another  living creature.  


So here we are, a few weeks later and I am still watching her going through withdrawal.  The trembling is a bit less frequent now.   I am pleased to say that she has quite the appetite.   A scheduled follow-up visit with the Vet is coming soon.   For a while,  I was really concerned I may have to resort to some type of rehab.  Cannot imagine what that would entail.   Thank goodness Milly is improving daily.

Apparently the Angel didn't need to be at the top


Napping till Santa Arrives

I believe it is a good sign when the kitten stays active, such as climbing the Christmas tree (cannot wait till next year) and now the curtains have also become a  daily activity.  She firmly believes this home is an amusement park and every object in it, is a thrill ride!  

 Thankfully, Milly rearranged the ornaments to her liking on the Christmas tree, did not care for the tree topper,( such a critic)  tasted the faux pine needles and destroyed garland and other decorative ornaments.  That was only the first week.   Alas, Milly seems quite at home now.   As you see, Milly has settled in comfortably.  Much to my happiness.


Spoiled Kitten

 Post Script              

Had I not been told Milly’s story of her life from the people who gave Milly to me, I may not have believed it myself.  She came my way through the one person who wanted to get this tiny kitten out of that place before something really awful happened.   

The Vet stated that Milly should be just fine.  I’d say she is.